Local Public Officials Have Earned our Skepticism
Government that maintains the trust of the governed has long been a hallmark of a vibrant and healthy democracy. But if you’re feeling lately that government is not leveling with you or acting in the best interests of the people, rest assured you’re not alone. For example, for years, Americans have listened to lawmakers peddle hollow “public interest” arguments advancing legislated or de facto sanctuary policies at the state and local level, while to no one’s surprise, the only beneficiaries have been illegal aliens and their special interests.
Very few enacted or proposed public policies are as consequential, deceptively marketed with flawed logic, or as cloaked in ulterior motives, as those dealing with immigration. While all of these have been pitched with numerous empty arguments, some Hall-of-Shame howlers are notable.
Sanctuary policies — generally referring to municipalities (or even entire states) refusing to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement — exist in at least 564 jurisdictions around the country One common refrain is these policies heighten trust and information sharing between the immigrant community and local police. That’s hooey with no empirical basis. Virtually all police have the discretion to ignore the immigration status of a witness to a crime, and virtually all do. There is simply no documented evidence indicating that an illegal alien was ever deported as a result of reporting a crime or volunteering information to the police. The greater bond of trust between the immigrant community and police occurs when criminal aliens are not allowed to roam free in immigrant communities as a result of sanctuary policies.
Driver’s licenses for illegal aliens are now issued in 19 states including the District of Columbia. One of many laughable arguments for doing so is that having a driver’s license enables illegal aliens to get to their jobs…that is, to the jobs they’re not legally entitled to have. Enhancing public safety is another argument because, of course, they’ll all take Driver’s Ed. The 9/11 Commission may have to puzzle that one over given that one of their most important recommendation for public safety was tightening license issuing standards.
Noncitizen voting is a growing trend and is presently allowed in 15 municipalities. Advocates claim non-citizens are disenfranchised if they can’t vote. Huh? Disenfranchisement means someone is denied a legal right. There is no legal right for noncitizens, especially illegal aliens, to vote. This is circular logic. It’s worth mentioning that allowing enfranchisement of foreign citizens devalues the vote of American citizens and strips away the incentive for legal immigrants to pursue U.S. citizenship.
Similar efforts are emerging in every state, but be on guard for the “Next Generation” of bills that are not ostensibly immigration-related but certainly partly the result of immigration. Local jurisdictions are reversing single family zoning and pushing for higher density, multiple family dwellings. This effort is sold with more subterfuge; the “missing middle” have a right to housing in good neighborhoods but inventory is scarce and expensive so the solution is an apartment building next door to you. It’s enlightening to note that all the areas where this phenomenon is underway have sanctuary policies that fueled illegal immigration and contributed to rapidly increased population and demand for housing. Thus, these zoning changes are promoted as solutions to problems that the jurisdictions helped create in the first place. For most, it is also an egregious violation of the most sacrosanct of all covenants at the local level; the understanding that one’s home and land will not be tampered with.
Of course, the litany of hollow arguments to accommodate mass immigration goes on and on, more whoppers than you’ll find at Burger King. The ulterior motives common to all these initiatives are voter expansion for the left, taxpayer-subsidized labor for business, and the systematic assimilation of illegal aliens into every facet of society — the “We’re Here, We’re Settled, We’re Not Leaving, Deal with Us” — argument that advocates use to rationalize amnesty.
We’ve all been around the block a few times (FAIR has been around since 1979), thus after decades of being lied to by the elites, skepticism is now our natural and necessary nature. It is also the catalyst for asking clarifying questions that expose layers of deceit when immigration policy is being proposed.
Patrick Henry advised, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect all who approach that jewel. Suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the public good.” The tyranny of King George III may be gone, but the American tradition of healthy scrutiny of government is just as vital during this modern-day fight against the new elites duplicitously promoting immigration policies that serve only to reward and incentivize unlawful behavior.